As Dominica observes Drug Awareness month, Director of the National Drug Prevention Unit, Jacinta Bannis, has called on women to stop allowing themselves to be used as mules for drug trafficking.
She remarked that women play a “two-toned” role in society, in that while there are some good women, other — often more vulnerable women — fall prey to drug trafficking.
“As mothers — I want to give the positive side of this — there are women who tend to teach their children about the dangers of drugs, but we also have women who do what we call ‘drug trafficking’. They are used as couriers,” she said.
“They ingest the drugs, they put it through their private parts,” she stated. “Sometimes they get pat downs, and they get searches, and they can be even profiled. Probably on a flight, a woman will not eat, will not use the restroom, will sit a certain position, and can be profiled as a carrier of illicit substances.”
Additionally, she went on to warn “vulnerable” women to be on the alert for drug traffickers who use deceit as a means of luring them into the drug trade, without making them aware of the risk involved.
“The traffickers look for vulnerable women… They never tell you [that] you will serve a long sentence, they never tell you [that] you wouldn’t see your children, or you won’t be at your grandparents’ funeral, and stuff like that.”
Bannis hopes that the overwhelming penalties involved—such as serving time in prison— will be enough to discourage women from becoming involved in drug trafficking.
“In Dominica, women who have trafficked drugs internationally… there have been consequences… And probably you are in a situation, where economically, you know, you are deprived, and the drug trafficker will see you are good for trafficking drugs. We really want to discourage women from being used by traffickers, or being used for drug trafficking,” she said.